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Housing Costs and Teacher Salaries

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As teacher recruitment and retention continue to be concerns in Texas, a Colorado report finds that salary may not be the only issue.

According to TASB HR Services' 2021–2022 teacher salary survey, the average teacher salary in Texas is $53,484. This is up slightly from the previous year's average of $52,000. An additional survey from TASB HR Services also suggests pay is set to rise further for the 2022–2023 school year. However, research conducted by the Keystone Policy Center suggests housing costs can impact even the most competitive of salaries.

Despite teacher salaries in Colorado steadily growing over the years, the price of housing has continued to grow and even outpace salary growth. This is an issue Texas knows well. The Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M reported the median family income this quarter is up by 13.6 percent. However, the median sales price of a home is up by 16.4 percent from last year.

Chalkbeat Colorado suggests these increases can make it difficult for areas with higher housing costs to maintain a teacher base, despite competitive pay. Of extra concern is the challenge this presents in keeping a diverse base of teachers staffed. The surplus income necessary to afford housing in a work area could discourage teachers from low-income backgrounds from applying.

The article presents these options as possible solutions for districts:

  • Provide housing assistance for teachers such as down payment assistance, access to lower interest rates, and community partnerships to build more housing.
  • Offer temporary district housing for teachers.
  • Advocate for policy change regarding affordable housing.

Visit Chalkbeat Colorado to read the full article.

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